LA GRANDE, Ore. - Oregon Tech has been picked to finish third with 94 points and received two first place votes with a record six teams earning at least one first place vote in the 2017-18 Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) preseason coaches' poll announced today by the conference office.
The College of Idaho men's basketball program has earned the top spot as the Yotes received three first place votes and a total of 100 points. C of I finished last year at 24-10 overall and 15-5 in conference play, advancing to the NAIA National Championships as an at-large selection and losing in the round of sixteen to Union (Ky.).
Southern Oregon University landed in second place on the poll with 96 points and two first place votes. The Raiders finished 18-13 overall and 12-8 in conference. Head Coach Brian McDermott will have five starters returning including Tristen Holmes and Ben DeSaulnier. The Raiders however lost all four games against Oregon Tech a year ago.
The Hustlin' Owls return three starters from a year ago, including CCC Newcomer of the Year Mitchell Fink who averaged 11 points, 4.5 assists, and 3 rebounds per game in his freshman season. Also returning for the Owls is senior leader Andrew Weber and sophomores Tyler Hieb and Seth Erickson.
"Our non-conference schedule is really going to challenge us. We have some tough road games and multiple home matchups that should bring in big crowds," said Head Coach Justin Parnell. "We have a young group who is going to need to mature quickly, because we are going to be tested every week."
Oregon Tech opens the 2017-18 campaign with two NAIA Division II contests at home including Simpson University on October 28th and then a Halloween Night game with University of Maine Fort Kent on October 31st.
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Behind OIT in the poll was Northwest Christian (91) in fourth, Warner Pacific College (83) in fifth, and Corban University (81) in sixth. NCU captured two first place votes and WPC and Corban earned one each. Last year Corban became the only 8th seed to ever advance to the CCC tournament championship game. The Warriors not only advanced, they won the tournament championship and earned the league's second AQ to the national tournament.
Northwest University landed at number seven with 55 points in the preseason poll. Rounding out the remaining teams are Eastern Oregon University (53), The Evergreen State College (29), Multnomah University (28), and Walla Walla University (12).
Full Conference play is set to begin December 1-2.
2017-18 CCC Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Poll
TeamPoints16-17 CCC 16-17 Overall
1.College of Idaho (3)10015-524-10
2.Southern Oregon (2)9612-818-13
3.Oregon Tech (2)9415-524-10
4.NW Christian (2)9117-325-6
5.Warner Pacific (1)838-1212-17
The NAIA men's basketball preseason poll will be released October 24th.